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Nadi Shodhana Benefits

Nadi Shodhana is a yogic practice to cleanse nadis – arteries and nerves. It is mentioned in several text associated with Yoga that there are 72,000 nadis (channels) in the human body which conduct vital air (vayu).

As per Yoga texts, in all human beings as we grow the nadis get clogged by an accumulation of impurities and so the vital air cannot flow freely along them. And this clogging of vital air is the main cause of disease, aging and death.

The importance of the removal of impurities from the arteries and nerves is stressed in Hatha Yoga Pradipika (II. 3-10). The book states that it is necessary to conserve or stabilize the vital air inside the Sushumna nadi by way of practicing pranayama (breath control).

As special type of pranayama known as nadi shodhana pranayama is recommend for cleansing the arteries and nerves.

In this special nadi shodhana pranayama, puraka (inspiration) through the left nostril is followed by kumbhaka (retention of breath), and then recaka (expiration) through the right nostril. Then the right nostril is used for inspiration and the left one for expiration. This makes one round.

When through persistent intense practice the aspirant practices four sittings in a day and eight rounds in each sitting, the nadis get purified and cleansed and one can hold breath at will without any conscious effort as result of nadi shodhana. That is called the state of kevala kumbhaka.

It arouses the sleeping Goddess Kundalini, which rises up through the inner path of the Sushumna nadi and opens the six lotuses and three granthis (knots of ignorance) on its way. That ultimately brings emancipation from rebirth.

Yoga, a Scientific Evaluation (1959) Kovoor T Behanan - Devor Publications New York
The Manual Of Yoga (1961) Desmond Dunne - London W. Foulsham and Co
Encyclopedia Of Hinduism Volume VII page 300 - 301 - IHRF